Tag Archives: spare parts

Anglo American pursues 3D printing of spare parts with CSIR and Ivaldi Group

Anglo American has partnered with the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and US-based technology company, Ivaldi Group, to explore opportunities to digitally distribute spare parts for mining and processing equipment to be manufactured locally using 3D printing.

The project includes an analysis of Anglo American’s inventory of spare parts, such as impellers for pumps, shaft sleeves, gasket bonnet valves, and mining rock drill bits, exploring the impact of adopting a digitally distributed supply chain, and then digitising, locally producing and testing these parts at Anglo American’s operations in South Africa, Anglo said.

This partnership is the latest manifestation of Anglo American’s Collaborative Regional Development (CRD) approach to helping create “thriving communities”, as part of the company’s Sustainable Mining Plan commitments.

“Through strategic partnerships, CRD aims to create long-term economic prosperity within Anglo American’s host communities and regions beyond the expected life of a mine,” the company said. “To that end, Anglo American launched the Impact Catalyst in 2019 together with its partners the CSIR, Exxaro, Zutari, World Vision SA and the provincial government of Limpopo.”

Matthew Chadwick, Head of Socio-Economic Development and Partnerships at Anglo American, said: “Our FutureSmart Mining™ approach to sustainable mining is presenting us with new and innovative opportunities to build thriving and resilient communities, now and into the future. Through partnerships like this one with CSIR and Ivaldi, we are re-imagining long-established norms to help deliver enduring value to society.

“The ability to send files – not physical spare parts – will reduce our carbon footprint, delivery lead times and logistics costs. Importantly, this has the clear potential to create industrial and service jobs for host communities and surrounding regions through on-demand manufacturing systems to produce spare parts locally.”

Espen Sivertsen, CEO of Ivaldi, said: “We believe that digital distribution of physical goods is a natural next step for the global spare parts supply chain. It is part of the fourth industrial revolution. Working with world-leading organisations like Anglo American and the CSIR, we are now practically demonstrating that there are significant savings for businesses and a net positive impact for the environment and associated communities.”

Charl Harding, CSIR’s Business Development Manager, added: “When we first explored this opportunity to develop sustainable local on-demand manufacturing solutions we saw an immediate fit with our additive manufacturing and materials expertise. The 3D printing of parts along with the application of additive manufacturing technologies to refurbish worn parts offers the potential to create local jobs, promote innovation for the inclusive and sustainable advancement of industry and society whilst responding critical issue of climate change.”

Epiroc slims Sweden workforce following COVID-19 related demand drop

Epiroc has provided a notice of termination to 425 employees in Sweden as it looks to adapt to the changing COVID-19 demand situation in the mining and infrastructure sectors.

The move is in response to lower global demand from these sectors amid the pandemic, and to position the company better for the future, it said.

Some 350 positions are expected to go at the company’s Örebro facilities, with 75 positions being removed in Fagersta, Sweden, of which half are positions in production, the company said.

Örebro is a main manufacturing and research and development hub for Epiroc’s underground and surface equipment as well as for service and spare parts supply, while Fagersta is home to Epiroc’s rock drilling tools business. Epiroc has about 3,100 employees in Sweden, out of a global workforce of some 14,000.

Epiroc said: “The action is the result of Epiroc facing a significant drop in demand from customers due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the global economy. The work reductions are also part of Epiroc’s continuous effort to become as agile and efficient as possible and follows various efficiency measures taken worldwide since 2019.”

The company, in April, announced it would consolidate the manufacturing of exploration drilling tools in Canada, gradually moving its base from North Bay to Montreal and Sweden over the course of 2020, with around 65 employees in North Bay, Ontario, being affected.

Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO, said: “We are taking these actions to adapt to the new market situation following the COVID-19 pandemic and to make us stronger and more resilient for the future. Unfortunately, we must take such a drastic action as giving notice of termination. We regret the negative consequences this will have for our colleagues and those close to them, and we will support our employees in this difficult situation.

“These actions will allow us to continue to prioritise innovation and to develop our technology leadership in order to support our customers’ operations and improve their productivity.”

Epiroc’s innovation investments have led to the mining and infrastructure industries becoming more productive, safe and climate friendly, according to the company, following the adoption of its automation, digitalisation and electrification solutions.

Epiroc investing in 3D printing for on demand spare parts

Epiroc says it is introducing a project focused on the use of 3D printing capabilities for the manufacturing of spare parts.

According to Anders Johansson, Product Manager at Epiroc, working with 3D technologies will open up unlimited possibilities for the company.

One promising technology gaining momentum is additive manufacturing or a phased build-up of an object using 3D modelling and printing, Epiroc said. This has not yet been widely developed for the mining and construction industry.

“The technology of fast details production involves the manufacturing of physical samples based on CAD-data or 3D-scanning data,” Epiroc said. “This includes the use of special equipment for layer-by-layer 3D-synthesis and practically no need of further refinement.”

Earlier in 2019, Epiroc begun to explore the opportunity to implement additive technologies in the process of manufacturing spare parts; it was after high standards of quality and accuracy with this.

Johansson said: “Working with 3D technologies opens up unlimited opportunities for the company to create complex geometric shapes and maintain high quality standards.

“This technology does not only provide additional opportunities for the creation of complex parts. It also allows companies to transfer digital models around the world in minutes to manufacture spare parts right on the spot where they are needed.”

For those who use Epiroc equipment, spare parts wait time will be noticeably reduced, according to Epiroc. Consequently, equipment downtime will also decrease. In addition, the possibility of 3D printing significantly optimises the process of delivery and storage of Epiroc spare parts, which will lead to increased value for the customers, the company said.

Johansson concluded: “Thanks to the opportunities this will give, we will be able to serve our customers in new ways and, at the same time, reduce environmental impacts throughout the world, which is high on our agenda as a modern global company.”